It’s a question I’ve been getting quite a bit since the big leap of faith from the employment world….
“How are you finding working from home…?”
Quickly followed by…
“Oh, I couldn’t do it… I don’t have the self-discipline”
At that point, some people dismiss even considering the notion that a home or online business could actually bring them a lot of freedom, flexibility and most importantly – happiness! So it’s quite sad to hear sometimes.
But this post is for people who have got as far as at least considering it being something they might want to pursue.
If you’re anything like I was, the idea of a home or online business is potentially a great concept and the dream lifestyle – the schedule and geographic flexibility, maybe being in your pjs all day not having to make to much effort with your appearance, watching that bit of TV you never used to get the chance to, working a few hours later on to make up for it.
All of which I have done at times, all of which is completely allowed – none of which am I judging anyone for who still does it! It genuinely is the beauty of working online and there’s no denying it.
I’ve already felt that there’s only so long that lasts before you’re possibly going feel a certain degree of lacking fulfilment if you haven’t yet found your passion. Ugh… “find your passion”… definitely something I discuss with myself on a regular basis.
Whilst there’s always ‘something to do’ when you work for yourself – especially online – if you brutally and honestly apply the 80/20 rule, you’ll probably find you could fit your money producing activities in to a few short, productive hours and give yourself some down time for exploring other things.
Granted, I haven’t quite mastered it to this extent yet, but I am absolutely loving getting a minimum of an hour or so of reading in each day. There’s something extremely satisfying about feeling personal growth and learning even the smallest of insights on a daily basis.
My preferred genre to read is still very much work related but I love learning and it genuinely fascinates me how much of the art of marketing is so relevant to other areas of our lives when done properly… split testing, human behaviour, understanding your own ‘brand’, communication skills – just to name a few – have all been applied in my personal life recently. Among these examples being ‘data dating’ – that’s a topic worthy of a post or 97 of its own… Jeez.
But back to self-discipline. Or the lack of it!
Those days where as much as you have the best intentions to get your endless to-do list ticked off, for me, the fridge, coffee machine, laundry and personal admin just have a habit of getting in the way. You’ll also spot endless little new domestic jobs that need doing. I’ve already needed to redecorate my kitchen 3times over in less than 6months. I haven’t actually done it, but I’ve stood looking at it procrastinating over it for several hours over the last few months.
Worse, I’ve found, is getting on a creative roll before you sit down to start your work for the day and have so many ideas swimming around in your head that you get sweet FA done because there’s no energy left to action any of it! AAAARRRRRGH!!!
If you don’t understand where I’m coming from here, it’s like when your computer slows right down because you’ve stored too many photos, videos and music on it. There’s no space or memory power for it to physically run because you’ve used it all up.
All this may not be a problem or challenge for you if you’re dealing with administrative tasks that require little to no creative brain cells. But when you’re trying to brain dump that genius thought for a blog post you had the other day which has all but escaped your head, you may find switching up your environment helps rejuvenate it.
We all like some degree of structure at times, I don’t care how ‘free spirited’ you consider yourself! Getting some form of morning routine nailed should definitely help give you a start – check out the last post on that here.
Once that’s done, ensuring you’re dressed and made up as early as possible is next.
**A note to the ladies… as a currently single gal, I’m as guilty as anyone on this. It’s gross after a while and a sloppy attitude undoubtedly starts creeping in to other areas of our lives if we’re not careful!
So, shave your legs, pluck your eyebrows and put on a bit of slap even if you are choosing to stay home today! I am the biggest fan of my trackies but they’re not allowed near me ’til 5pm at the earliest. It sucked for a while but I appreciate them even more now!
I am aware I’ve yet to answer the question this post is titled with…
How do we master self-discipline for the purposes of working from home?
If anything in this post so far has resonated with you, my personal take on this would be – in short – DO NOT work from home if you have the opportunity to get out!
Adele and co didn’t get to the top of the charts by leaving their ideas cooped up in their heads. And you my friend must not
be cooped up at home all day with your ideas…the world is waiting for you to unleash them!
Trust me, you have an audience waiting if you’ll just get started with something. A quick blog post, a video, something inspiring or an opinion on ANYTHING on your preferred social media platform.
Get to a coffee shop, the library, the gym cafe or one of these funky new hot-desk concept places if you’re near a big-ish city. The world is slowly but surely, 100% catering to your every whim as a millennial wifi-lifer! You have no excuse to not find somewhere that restricts you to just you, your ideas, your laptop and a bit of people-watching.
And THIS is where you will eventually start to discover the things you are curious about and interested in that will one day manifest themselves in to your big idea. I feel like I’m creeping closer to this point so for now, I’ll keep documenting the journey until it’s proven!
Regardless, the journey itself is a lot of fun for now.
Just a suggestion that may help you get organised so you can make your way to each day’s office of choice…
- EVERNOTE – this has changed my life! You’ll never need a notebook again (although I have a journal for therapeutic purposes!). Don’t be a tight arse, get the Premium version (approx £40 per year – O2 mobile network customers in the UK – check your benefits, I got my first year free). The app on your phone and accompanying desktop/laptop equivalent sync effortlessly. So when those 101 ideas pop in to your head at the most inconvenient time (the shower for me – still not ideal), grab your phone, tap in the note, and next time you’re ready to focus, continue on your laptop. I drafted the bulk of this very blog post in part on my sofa 3days ago one evening in about 10mins flat because the idea was just ‘there’.
- Utilise voice memos: if you’re in a rush or can’t type fast enough to keep up with your brain dump, dictate it in to a voice memo or even a video – both of which you can open from inside an Evernote note! This way, you can pop it open when you open the draft note back on your laptop or other computer. You can even work offline and it will sync with other devices when you’re hooked up to wifi again.
I hope you’ve found some value in this – even if it’s perhaps not the answer you were hoping for. I’ll wrap up with a simple but pretty relevant quote that I’ve seen a few times lately…
Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist) added his own line to the above saying, “…and never, ever, give up”.
To your freedom and happiness,